For many of you, your entire existence revolves around your sex life or lack thereof. And while many in the church (and the world) view this in a really negative way, it is actually understandable because sex is a fundamental element of our lives as human beings and its absence should be keenly felt.
I mean, if you were to go without food for 3 days, what would you be thinking mostly about? Shana: Coffee. What if you were deprived of water, would taking a drink fill your thought life even to the point of obsession? Shana: Umm, still coffee.
Sex within marriage may not seem to be that big of a deal to some of you but that is because you simply do not know what it can and should be. In the same way, for those of you who may be undernourished sexually it may too big of a deal to you. Both extremes have to be avoided if we are going to be healthy.
Shana: What if you’re underly overnourished sexually….is that a problem?
Only when we take a step back and look at the big picture can we begin to see things in their proper perspective. And perspective is everything, that can’t be overstressed. Your life, job, relationships, marriages, priorities and everything else in between sit fixed exactly where they are due to your perception of them.
Perception really is a totally subjective thing, based entirely on the gray matter resting between your ears. What you perceive things to be may or may not be the truth and that is some scary stuff. That is exactly how you wake up one day and your spouse of 25 years has run off with a midget from the Ukraine and you never saw it coming.
Shana: Okay…first of all, how did they find a midget from the Ukraine? Is there like a hotline for that? Second of all, how on earth does one not see this coming? This fetish for midgets? I mean, there had to be a sign…like, “Oh, honey, I really wish you were shorter.” Or, “Babe, could you just walk around on your knees a bit?”.
Forgive me for waxing spiritual here for a second but I think it would help you to get what I am about to write. See, the way that we perceive things to be leads to our internal description of them. Once you describe a thing, you become subject to its law. What is a law? Well, a law is simply a predictable consequence of an act.
For example, you may perceive that you can fly due to a bad burrito that you had for lunch. But once you describe gravity, any dreams of flying with the birdies will be quickly replaced with an image of a big splat and a chalk line on the sidewalk. Well, what if you didn’t describe gravity- could you then fly, you ask? I don’t know, maybe you could go practice and write me and tell me how it worked out for you…
Shana: Okay…so, bad burrito + flying with the birdies + splat = you already had a pre-conceived description of gravity, stupid.
Let’s get back to reality; what does this have to do with sex and marriage?
Follow me here; you perceive sex to be either important or basically unimportant. That perception then leads to an internal description of it that you file away inside your head that you find yourself subject to in every way.
If you are undernourished sexually, that can lead to the exact behavior associated with a sexually desperate person. If on the other hand you are uninterested in sex or experiencing difficulties due to a previous experience or a body image or performance anxiety, it can lead to a sexual withdrawal and even hostility towards it. Shana: So….would, “See this line?…don’t cross it!” count as ‘hostility towards it’? What about, “Touch me again and see what happens to you!”? Oh, maybe that would go in the: ‘hostility towards HIM’ category. Perhaps your perception of it is that it is totally bland, boring and as dull as ditchwater and that will lead to… not much.
My point is that what you have or don’t have is your own fault as individuals and as a couple and is the result of your flawed perception and ignorance of the possibilities.
If you don’t know what is possible sexually, you will fall back on your experience and quickly file it away into the “normal” category. In other words, you will assume that what you are experiencing is normal and expected for everyone. That is kind of like assuming that because I have had frozen pizza at home for 20 years, I can deduce that the pizza at Lou Malnati’s in Chicago tastes pretty much the same.
I want you to do something. I want you to erase your personal history and the standards that come with it. If the best sexual experience of your life occurred 25 years ago and involved someone dressed up as the San Diego Chicken (Shana: What’s with the freakin’ chicken all the time? Is that a hint? Because I ain’t takin’ it!) and a used tire- forget about it. (Shana: Hmm…a chicken and a tire…a chicken and a tire…nope, got nothin’.) If your personal history suggests that sex is boring, lasts 5 minutes and you never come away satisfied- forget about it. If your personal history suggests that your spouse is frigid or obsessed- forget about it. If you desire change, you must be the one to change first.
Shana: Okay, so what you’re saying is: I’m right, it’s all his fault, and he’s the one who has to change. Well, I knew that all along.
So, in the place of personal history I want you to substitute eight little words; “I don’t know but I want to know.” (If you naturally found yourself counting words there, we have a whole other problem to discuss). Shana: That’s not fair! He knew I was gonna count them!! And I don’t have a problem!
You don’t know how lost in it that you can be right now but you want to.
You don’t know how enraptured you can get but you want to.
You don’t know what your body is capable of experiencing but you want to.
You don’t know about reaching a transcendent state with your partner but you want to.
You don’t know about true intimacy and oneness but you want to.
You don’t know what complete trust and security feels like but you want to.
Once you get to the place where you have erased descriptions and replaced them with an open-ended journey of discovery, you are ready to begin to come fully awake, fully alive and totally present in the now. Your next step is to ruthlessly kill off two more things that stand in your way of having Epic Sex in an Epic Marriage; the destination and the mediocre.
The destination in most sexual episodes is the climax. And pragmatism really does a number on us here- the idea that if it works, it is right. If your only goal is climax, you will find yourself pushing the buttons that you know work and being satisfied at the results. This is absolutely lazy and unfair to your partner. You need to start approaching sex with a totally different mindset. We need to banish that old thinking that said, “Just hold on, Marge, it will be over in a minute”. Instead, you need to push off the climax for as long as possible and make the journey the destination instead. Even better, you could have no destination at all and just lose yourself in what you are experiencing in that moment instead. This is not an easy feat, even when you are having more Epic Sex. You will always find yourself wanting to pursue a goal, even if that goal is whole body orgasms or making them climax 4-5 times. It really must be changed though because once a goal is put on the table, it can cause either apathy or performance anxiety. So, relax and just choose to redefine where you want to get to.
Shana: I was always one who wanted to get to the “reason” why we were doing it…the climax. I thought that was the end result. Well, doesn’t everybody think that? (Unless you’re trying to have a baby…lol) Anyway, my husband (being Irish) really knows how to “live it up”! (Those Irish sure are great at that kind of stuff!) You know, live in the moment. So, we began to really savor the time instead of just needing to climax. And yes, it can go long but it’s worth it! That’s really the difference between sex and sex with love and intimacy. Heart to heart stuff…that’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Secondly, you must eliminate your willingness to accept the mediocre. Most couples that we talk to have fallen into this trap. You figure that if the goal was reached, everything must be great. But in order to elevate and begin to experience life, you can never settle for the “okay”. You really have to learn to accept only the sustained epic experience. We try to help you with this by talking about surprising your spouse, gaining new information that is out of character and losing yourself in the moment. We know the things that are off-limits to Christians sexually (extra-marital relations, incest, bestiality, promiscuity, etc) but we need to approach everything else with the idea of learning. Set out to try everything together regardless of what you think you might like or dislike. From that, gauge how much your spouse got from it and then decide whether to include it in your repertoire or not. The end goal is to please them with everything that you have. If you can do that, you will have found something truly special. Marriage is about serving one another in every way in order to make your spouse feel loved, revered, accepted, whole and secure.
Shana: I meet a lot of women, who tell me at the first meeting we have, that they have a good marriage and a good sex life. Then after the first couple of meetings they realize that it wasn’t that good and it could be SO much better! We’re here to tell you to rethink! Rethink your marriage, and rethink your sex life! Spice it up, chickies! (Well, you too, ya roosters! ;))
Sadly, some of you read things like this and just continue with business as usual. This epic stuff takes work and you will get out of it exactly what energy you put into its sustainability. In the end, you have to begin to look at your relationship as a couple for clues as to how well things are working. Are you closer than ever before? Do you talk to them and long to connect emotionally in your relationship? Do you find yourself daydreaming about intimacy with them and no one else?
Shana: Yep, some people will settle for the mediocre. But they probably settle in every area of their life. This is about something more. And it’s for the kind of people who want more than just the mediocre marriage with a mediocre sex life and a mediocre family with a mediocre dog. (We have one of those mediocre dogs…not fun, people, not fun at all.)
Epic Sex is great but only if it leads to an Epic Marriage. The goal is to draw closer to one another, to experience sustained emotional bonding and ultimately, discover who God is and what He desires for worship. If we want to get there, we have to forget all we know and go to places we have never been.
Shana: Buckle your seat belts. Here we come….’place we’ve never been’!